Thursday, 27 May 2004

Hey, This Used To Be A Geek Thing!

Back in the Stone Age when I started Kitabkhana, blogging was the nerdy, slightly disreputable, amiably seedy activity of choice. You blogged because you were bored, or you were trying to brush up your HTML skills, or because you were sick of the airhead news presented by the mainstream media. Or, in my case, you blogged because a) you needed somewhere to dump the links you wanted to return to some day and b) because it provided the illusion of anonymity and novelty that accompanied the early days of the Internet. It was a nostalgia thing. And bloggers, we were the Good Guys. We had no audiences, no ads, no money, sometimes no jobs. We flaunted our independence, we let it all hang out. It didn't really matter who got more hits, or who was more equal than the others.
Then it all began to change. People did articles on the blogging phenomenon, and the beginning of the end of the blogging phenomenon, and perversely reassuring pieces on how geeky the blogosphere still remains (it's so geeky that we use words like "geeky" and "blogosphere"). And now, blogs are Trendy. (This doesn't mean me, with the kind of audience over at Kk that is euphemistically described as "small but dedicated"--it means them, and them, and them, and of course them, and (yeah Maudie!) She Who Must Be Read.
Now this profile of the man who runs Gawker makes him sound as Cool New Corporate Flavour of The Month as any piece written about any media/ publishing big hitter. There's a piece about bloggers with book contracts (this has upset some bloggers, who are sensibly waiting to finish writing their books before signing pieces of paper, and who really didn't want the attention). And (how much more mainstream can you get?) there's this piece about People Who Blog Too Much.
The Babu isn't sure what's more depressing than this: to learn that his tiny attempt to be part of the underbelly of something or the other has failed as he (and Zigzackly) are dragged kicking and screaming into the mainstream, or to know that even when the mainstream decided to tickle the underbelly into emerging into the light, the little itchy spot it missed was, sigh, the Babu's blog.

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